Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich was announced as the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Literature today. Alexievich is known for her writings on Chernobyl specifically, and excerpts from her book Voices from Chernobyl were published in Gerd Ludwig’s The Long Shadow of Chernobyl. Her writings stem from hundreds of interviews, and the collection of oral history and recorded conversations are integral to her work.

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“Nuclear Tourism,” a selection of Gerd Ludwig’s photographs of tourism in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, will be exhibited at Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, August 29 – September 18, 2015.

In 2011, as people around the world watched TV reports on the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the Ukrainian government gave approval for travel inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which has now become a disaster-tourism destination.

Tourists take pictures of the sarcophagus encasing the reactor, but the top attraction is the ghost town of Pripyat, once home to nearly 50,000, now decaying and overgrown by nature, a less than truthful witness to its sudden abandonment. Visitors and tour guides have set up tableaux to evoke scenes, with, for example, a doll arranged next to a gas mask.

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“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” iPad app:

“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” iPad app was just re-released for iOS 8, with a new design and updated material. For those who already had the earlier version, a free update is available via the App Store.

Spanning Gerd Ludwig’s two decades of documentation of the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the groundbreaking work explores the human and environmental impact since the disaster, including photos from Ludwig’s most recent trips to Chernobyl, taken in early 2011 as the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant was unfolding and in 2013, as the tourist industry expanded in the Exclusion Zone.

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“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” is a joint production of Gerd Ludwig Photography and Lightbox Press, now built on the ScrollMotion software platform.

PDN (Photo District News) is the most important publication for professional photographers in the US, with a monthly reach of over 500,000 in print & online. PDN is the recipient of two Lucie Awards and the seven-time winner of the Neal Award for Editorial Excellence from American Business Media. Each year, in their PDN Annual competition, a panel of renowned judges from all disciplines of photography select the best works in 7 professional categories.

It was just announced that Gerd Ludwig’s book, “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl,” with an essay by Mikhail Gorbachev, published by Edition Lammerhuber, was named one of the best photo books of the year in the PDN Annual.

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Gerd Ludwig will be speaking about his two decades of work documenting the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles on April 21, just before the 29th anniversary of the disaster on April 26. The Goethe-Institut is the worldwide cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. They promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation.

Gerd’s lecture will be held in English and starts at 7 pm, with a reception following. Gerd will also be signing copies of The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, his 20-year retrospective photo book. Admission to the lecture is free of charge, but RSVP is mandatory.

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Gerd Ludwig’s trilingual photo book, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, published by Edition Lammerhuber, was just named Photo Book of the Year by Pictures of the Year International (POYi).

Pictures of the Year International (POYi) is the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program in the world. POYi’s mission is to honor and promote the work of documentary photographers, magazine, newspaper, and freelance photojournalists. POYi’s worldwide competition sets the gold standard for excellence in documentary photography, photojournalism, visual editing, and online multimedia. Each year, more than 48,000 works are submitted to the contest by photojournalists from over 70 nations, who document the news events, social issues, and cultural trends.

Captivating images of National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig’s nine visits to Chernobyl in 20 years tell us tragic stories of the life of the victims, the Exclusion Zone and the abandoned city of Pripyat. Ludwig ventured deeper into the belly of the beast than any Western photographer, repeatedly documenting the destroyed rector #4, which will disappear under a New Safe Confinement for at least 100 years. Bordering the site of the worst nuclear disaster to date, the abandoned city of Pripyat might face a similar destiny as authorities decide what to do with it.

An essay by Mikhail Gorbachev, the last head of state of the Soviet Union, accompanies Gerd Ludwig’s emotional visual narrative. This book is an important body of documentary work in view of the ongoing nuclear disaster in Fukushima 25 years later.

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